New twist in slaying

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AUGUSTA (AP) – Hours after police found the body of his father, a 20-year-old Newcastle man was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in last week’s slaying of a female college student from Wayne, state police said.

John A. Okie of Newcastle was charged in the July 10 slaying of Alexandra “Aleigh” Mills, 19, whose body was found by her father in the family’s home in Wayne. They had been classmates during their high school years, police said.

Nearly a week after Mills’ death, John S. Okie, 59, was found dead in his Newcastle home on Monday night. State police Lt. Gary Wright said Tuesday that Okie’s death is considered a homicide but is in “very early stages of investigation.”

Wright also refused to say whether there is any connection between the Okie and Mills homicides or how either of the victims died.

“The incident in Newcastle has nothing to do with the fact that we arrested John Okie this morning,” Wright said at a news conference at Maine Public Safety Department headquarters.

Wright said the younger Okie was arrested at his uncle’s home in East Boothbay at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, then taken to Kennebec County Jail in Augusta to await an arraignment, scheduled for this morning in Superior Court.

Okie was arrested about 13 hours after sheriff’s deputies in neighboring Lincoln County were called to the Okie home in Newcastle after the victim’s wife, Karen, dialed 911.

Both the slain father, who ran a pottery business in Damariscotta, and his son had been living in the same residence on the Old County Road, Wright said.

Wright said investigators were expected to remain at the site through Tuesday evening and today.

Tuesday’s events followed a weekend memorial observance for Alexandra Mills, a 2006 graduate of the private Kents Hills School in Readfield and student at the University of Maine at Augusta. “Aleigh” Mills had been on the basketball team at both schools and was working at a general store in Wayne.

Wright said police had been conducting an intensive investigation into Mills’ slaying during the past week and developed information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

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